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April 22, 2005

Senator Santorum Should Resign Right Now

In the tank for the mighty and numerous private weather forecast lobby? Talk about a parody of a legislature.

Joshua Micah Marshall writes:

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: April 17, 2005 - April 23, 2005 Archives: This page right here is the one I go to to check the weather. It's put out by the National Weather Service. It's a lot like some commercial ones, only it has more information, costs nothing and contains no ads. But as the Carpetbagger Report notes... Santorum (R) of Pennsylvania has introduced a bill that would ban the federal government's meteorologists from making this information available for free since that creates a problem for outfits like The Weather Channel and AccuWeather, which want to sell it.... You paid for the data. Your tax dollars fund a massive apparatus of meteorological data collection for reasons ranging from agriculture to disaster safety to keeping airplanes in the air -- everything under the sun. You pay for it and this is just the feds making it available to you on a website. The cost of letting you access it must be minuscule compared to that of collecting it. Indeed, most of the data these other guys sell is stuff they get from the feds or fed-subsidized data collection. So they're in the business of selling to you the information that your tax dollars already went into collecting. And apparently they add so little added value that they can't handle the competition when the National Weather Service just gives it away. Santorum wants to make these guys into some sort of information age tax farmers. This article in the Palm Beach Post goes into greater detail on the bill. And you can see from its proponents feeble justifications just what a con this is. They note, for instance, that the bill would not prevent the National Weather Service from alerting the public to imminent disasters, which is awfully generous of them.

Can't the Republican Party find a less corrupt and more public-spirited candidate to run for the Senate from Pennsylvania?

Posted by DeLong at April 22, 2005 06:58 PM